GARDENING: Jobs to do this weekend

KEEP BLOOMING: Deadhead dahlias, such as this Bishop's Children variety.
KEEP BLOOMING: Deadhead dahlias, such as this Bishop's Children variety.
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It’s holiday-time, so enlist the help of friends and family to look after the garden while you are away, watering pots and picking crops.

n Don’t neglect hanging baskets - deadheading, watering and feeding will help them last through until autumn.

n Deadhead plants such as dahlias, roses, Penstemon and bedding to prolong the display colour well into early autumn.

n Hardy geraniums can be cut back a little to remove tired leaves and encourage a new flush of growth.

n Alpines that have developed bare patches of die-back, or have become weedy, can be tidied up by in-filling the patches with gritty compost. This will encourage new growth as well as improving their appearance.

n Buy or order spring-flowering bulbs. Some bulbs can be planted now, such as Colchicum, daffodils and Madonna lilies (L. candidum).

n Prune Wisteria and shrubs such as Pyracantha after flowering.

Continue to deadhead shrubs, to extend flowering into early autumn. Spindly specimens that have lost leaves can be cut back a little further when deadheading, to encourage new growth.

n Many conservatory and greenhouse pests will be active during the summer months. Check plants regularly for signs of glasshouse whitefly, leafhopper, red spider mite, mealybugs and scale insects. Clean up fallen leaves and spilt compost from benches and floors to prevent pests and diseases spreading.

n Raise the blades on the mower before cutting fine lawns. This will help reduce drought stress.

• You can read more of Mandy’s gardening writing at her website www.mandycanudigit HERE.